Host families needed for teen-age diplomats

20 Apr

The 2022/2023 school year is still far from over, but at least one organization is already looking forward to September.

The Association for Teen-age Diplomats (ATAD) is looking for Webster families to host high school-aged exchange students for the next school year. Now is the time to sign up, because students need plenty of time to get their visas.

ATAD was created after World War II by a group of Kodak employees. They wanted to come up with some way to foster world peace and thought that if the world’s young people got to know each other, there would be less war. They started bringing exchange students to Rochester in the 1950s.

Most years, ATAD will host five to ten students hailing from France, Italy, Germany, Russia, Peru, Poland, Spain and Turkey. Six are expected this year, four from Spain and two others from Italy. You can click here to see mini bios for all the students.

Becoming a host family is easy, and really requires very little more than providing room, board and love. The visiting student doesn’t even need a private bedroom or any spending money.

You can find answers to many questions on the ATAD website, but here’s some helpful info:

  • students bring their own spending money and have their own insurance
  • families generally include the visiting student on family trips, and the students sometimes have their own money to pay for it
  • ATAD hosts a few social gatherings during the school year so host families can meet other families
  • each student has a program chair assigned to manage any problems — large or small — which come up. The ATAD volunteer network is ready to step in and help with any issues that arise.
  • host families do not have to have any other children
  • all visiting students know English well
  • families are not provided a stipend for hosting a student
  • students do not pay room and board

For more information, visit the ATAD website or email Suzanne Isgrigg, Vice President for Host Families, at

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(posted 4/20/2023)

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